Ken Merten

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Ken Merten
Personal information
Full nameKenneth Owen Merten
Nickname(s)"Ken"
National teamUnited States
Born (1945-05-04) May 4, 1945 (age 73)
Akron, Ohio
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight176 lb (80 kg)
Sport
SportSwimming
StrokesBreaststroke
ClubLos Angeles Athletic Club
College teamSouthern Methodist University

Kenneth Owen "Ken" Merten (born May 4, 1945) is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Pan American Games medalist, and former world record-holder.

Merten won three medals in his breaststroke specialty at the Pan American Games.[1] At the 1963 Pan American Games in São Paulo, Brazil, he won a silver medal for his runner-up finish in the 200-meter breaststroke.[1] Four years later at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he received a pair of bronze medals for his third-place performances in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke.[1]

Merten represented the United States at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.[2] He competed in the semifinals of the men's 100-meter breaststroke, finishing with a time of 1:11.6.[2][3] He also swam in the preliminary heats of the men's 200-meter breaststroke, clocking a time of 2:37.0, but did not advance.[2][4]

Merten was born in Akron, Ohio,[2] but grew up in Los Angeles, California.[5] He attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where he swam for the SMU Mustangs swimming and diving team in national Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition.[5] While he was an SMU swimmer, he won NCAA individual national championships in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, the first ever in the history of the SMU swim team, and set new American records in doing so.[5]

Merten helped set a new world record of 3:57.2 in the 4×100-meter medley relay as a member of the winning U.S. relay team at the 1967 World University Games on August 31, 1967.[6] The record was broken by an East German relay team a little over two months later. At the University Games, he also gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.[5]

He is now retired after a 32-year career as a teacher, school administrator and coach.[5] He actively competes in windsurfing within his age group, and is an active participant in Swim Across America, a non-profit organization that uses Olympic swimmers to raise funds for cancer research.[5] He lives in Dallas, Texas.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Pan American Games: Men's Swimming Medalists". HickokSports.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Ken Merten". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  3. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Semi-Finals". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Round One". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Swim Across America, Olympians, Ken Merten. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "A Roundup Of The Sports Information Of The Week". Sports Illustrated. September 11, 1967. Retrieved September 24, 2012.